Shaking up the After-market

When customers invest in our products they do so with peace of mind, in the knowledge that they can count on the support of a competent team throughout their product’s life cycle,” states Floris Timmers, Regional Business Line Manager MRS (Mining & Rock Excavation Services).

Epiroc’s after-market division is responsible for all capital ranges across all divisions, covering eleven product lines including Rockdrills & Rotation Units through to drilling (pit viper, FlexiROC, SmartROC) and mining machines (Simba, Scooptram, Boomer). The extensive after-market solution which comprises specialist tooling and tool kits, after-sales service, rebuild, technology, telematics, and training, is delivered to customers and end-users in South Africa as well as direct neighbouring countries.

Floris notes two factors that differentiate Epiroc’s after-market service: their remanufacturing capabilities and innovative after-market triad, a combination, he says, that takes the company to a whole new level in the after-market space.

Floris notes two factors that differentiate Epiroc’s after-market service: their remanufacturing capabilities and innovative after-market triad, a combination, he says, that takes the company to a whole new level in the after-market space.

“We do full machine remanufacture back to full life in accordance with OEM specifications at our Jet Park facility in Gauteng. As the machines and parts are rebuilt back to new, we offer warranties on our workmanship and premium OEM parts just like you would on brand new machines.”

The second differentiating factor is the after-market triad which comprises stock holding, competent technicians and specialised tooling. “Our three-pronged approach is geared to ensure that customers and end-users get the maximum service out of their machines and equipment,” he says, adding that they put all this into a highly competitive package for their customers.

Stock holding, the first of this value add package, is directly linked to building customer relationships. “This is a big part of after-market because we must be familiar with the customer’s business and exact requirements to enable us to know what stock as well as in what quantities to carry. “Going beyond that, we must get the parts out quickly to maximise uptime for increased productivity and ultimately profitability for the customer.”

Floris adds that customers do not have the hassle of finding storage space and they don’t pay for stock lying on the shelves. “They only pay for stock when they need it.”

Regular training

Next in the after-market trio is the team of highly skilled technicians who deliver expert, 24/7 support. The technicians receive regular training to stay up to date on all products, arming them with the necessary maintenance, service and repair expertise.

Completing the trio is specialised tooling designed by Epiroc. “No matter how good the product or how qualified the technicians, the use of correct tooling when servicing or repairing equipment is just as essential in ensuring optimum and reliable machine performance.”

Not all customers make use of Epiroc’s full after-market offering which Floris admits presents a challenge. “Customers who only buy parts from us don’t know when a service is required on their machines or equipment. Our package removes the headache in the after-sales service space and we strongly encourage customers to make use of our service contract; it is an investment that delivers significant savings over the life span of the equipment.”

Remote machine monitoring

 “In our endeavour to assist customers in extending the service life of their capital equipment and keep operational costs as low as possible, we recently introduced Certiq.” Floris explains that this web-based solution remotely monitors machine activity providing insight into operator activities and productivity as well as information on the condition of the machine. Using a mobile device (cell phone, laptop, tablet or iPad), customers can remotely log into their fleet to see if the machines are productive, if they are running or drilling, how many metres down they have drilled, as well as fuel consumption. Certiq also checks machine health and alerts the customer if there is a problem with it such as overheating and whether the operator has switched the machine off. “Certiq basically extends what the operator is seeing.” Certiq is currently available on all new Epiroc product lines but is limited to specific models and can also be retrofitted, requiring a simple fitment of hardware on the machine.

No service is complete without training

As no service is complete without training, it is an area that receives a lot of attention from Epiroc. “We regard training as a value added product to our customers. Appropriate training ensures the correct use of the machine which will deliver long life for lowest overall total cost of ownership and rapid return on investment.” The majority of the training is done at the customer’s site both in South Africa and in the neighbouring territories by fourteen professionals all with different fields of expertise. These trainers, together with Epiroc technicians, receive training both locally and overseas from Swedish experts.

Epiroc South Africa

Kathryn Coetzer

Tel: (011) 821-9000